East Somerset founder remembered at cathedral service

FURTHER tributes have been paid to international wildlife artist, East Somerset Railway founder and locomotive owner, David Shepherd, during a memorial service at London’s Southwark Cathedral on March 2.

Nearly 400 people turned out despite the wintry weather to pay their respects to David, who died on September 19 last year following a 10-week fight in hospital with Parkinson’s disease.

David, who bought BR Standard 9F No. 92203 Black Prince straight out of service before the end of British Rail steam in 1968, sold it to the North Norfolk Railway three years ago.

North Norfolk Railway chairman Julian Birley (left) with wildlife artist David Shepherd on the footplate of BR Standard 9F 2-10-0 No. 92203 Black Prince. NNR

His family asked North Norfolk chairman, Julian Birley, to give a speech at the service about David’s railway achievements.

Julian, the preservation powerhouse behind the Bala Lake Railway’s push into the town centre, said: “Almost 200 years ago, this country gave railways to the world, and David was one of the earliest pioneers in preserving the record of that gift.

“Having inherited that mutant gene from his father, namely the love of railway heritage, one which I and thousands of others have, David’s first brush with steam came in 1967 after the phenomenal success of an exhibition of his paintings in New York. This completely sold out on the first night.

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